Guide: What power supply do the most important graphics cards need?

The world of graphics cards is quite complicated, not only because each one has its own set of features, but also because in many cases there are models that seem similar, such as the RX 460 and the RX 470, for example. However, both models’ performances and power requirements are different.

In many cases, customers are misguided by the watts and power connectors that the manufacturer asks for without taking into account another very important element: the amperage required by the 12V rail of the graphics card you are going to buy.

This can lead to very different consequences. On the one hand, we could end up buying a bigger power supply than the one required by the PC that we are building. Although it will allow us to use it without any problem, it would be an unnecessary expense.

On the other hand, it can also happen that the graphics card malfunctions because it is not getting the minimum wattage required or because it is not being provided with the necessary amperage. If we do not replace our power supply with one that meets the minimum requirements, we might end up with a dead power supply and the risk of damaging other components in the process.

We are aware of how important this issue is and of the huge doubts that many users still have, fueled mostly by their lack of knowledge and the myths that still persist online, so we wanted to do this special to show you a basic list of power requirements for graphics cards.

As always, we hope it helps you. And without further ado, let’s discuss the matter.

Low end

Low end

We group as low end all the graphics cards that offer an average performance but that are good enough to play games in 1080p. They have low power consumption, so they are ideal when updating old devices on a low budget.

Since this classification is only for gaming graphics cards, we excluded the rest of the low end graphics cards, so be careful to not mix them. If you have any doubts about this, you can leave your questions in the comment section.

NVIDIA Graphics Solutions:

  • GeForce GTX 750ti – 18A and a 350W power supply.
  • GeForce GTX 750 – 16A and a 300W power supply.
  • GeForce GTX 740 – 16A and a 300W power supply (1 x 6 pin version with GDDR5).

NVIDIA Graphics Solutions:

  • Radeon R7 260X – 19A and a 450W power supply (1 x 6 pins).
  • Radeon HD 7790 – 21A and a 450W power supply (1 x 6 pin).
  • Radeon HD 7770 – 19A and a 450W power supply (1 x 6 pins).
  • Radeon HD 7750 – 16A and a 400W power supply.

Mid end

Mid end

A lot of graphics cards in this group usually cost around 125 euros and 300 euros. There are models that are very different in terms of performance but that do not deserve to be put in the low-end range, such as the RX 460 or the GTX 1050.

We have selected the most current and used models to keep the list short, ruling out those that have been around for too many years.

NVIDIA Graphics Solutions:

  • GeForce GTX 1060 – 20A and a 400W (1 x 6-pin) power supply.
  • GeForce GTX 970 – 28A and a 500W power supply (2 x 6 pins).
  • GeForce GTX 1050 TI – 16A and a 350W power supply (1 x 6 pin).
  • GeForce GTX 1050 – 16A and any 300W power supply.
  • GeForce GTX 960 – 20A and 400W a power supply (1 x 6 pin).
  • GeForce GTX 950 – 19A and 350W a power supply (1 x 6 pin).

AMD Graphics Solutions:

  • Radeon RX 480 – 30A and a 500W power supply (1 x 8 pin).
  • RX 470 – 28A and a 450W power supply (1 x 6 pins).
  • RX 460 – 18A and a 380W power supply.
  • Radeon R9-380 – 28A and a 500W power supply (2 x 6 pins).
  • Radeon R9-370-17A and a 450W power supply (1 x 6 pins).
  • Radeon R9-285 – 25A and a 500W power supply (2 x 6 pins).
  • Radeon R9-280X – 30A and a 550W power supply (1 x 6 pin 1 x 8 pin).
  • Radeon R9-280 – 25A and a 500W power supply (1 x 6 pin 1 x 8 pin).
  • Radeon R9-270X – 24A and a 500W power supply (2 x 6 pins).

High end

High end

We can include the models with an outstanding performance in this group. A flawless gaming experience is ensured, achieving good FPS even with high-resolution settings.

Their usual price is around 350 and 800 euros.

NVIDIA Graphics Solutions:

  • GeForce GTX 1080 – 32A and a 500W (1 x 8-pin) power supply.
  • GeForce GTX 1070 – 30A and a 500W power supply (1 x 8 pin).
  • GeForce GTX TITAN X – 38A and a 600W power supply (1 x 6 pin 1 x 8 pin).
  • GeForce GTX 980 TI – 38A and a 600W power supply (1 x 6 pin 1 x 8 pin).
  • GeForce GTX 980 – 30A and a 500W power supply (2 x 6 pins).

AMD Graphics Solutions:

  • Radeon R9 Fury X – 34A and a 600W power supply (2 x 8 pins).
  • Radeon R9 Fury – 33A and a 600W power supply (2 x 8 pins).
  • Radeon R9 Nano – 28A and a 550W power supply (1 x 8 pins).
  • Radeon R9-390X – 31A and a 550W power supply (1 x 6 pin 1 x 8 pin).
  • Radeon R9-390 – 30A and a 550W power supply (1 x 6 pin 1 x 8 pin).

Final thoughts

Before we finish, we want to make clear that the power specifications we have given you are the minimum recommended for a safe and optimum performance and they fit the reference models.

This means that it is possible that overclocked models with advanced lighting and cooling systems have higher power requirements, so if you have any doubts, ask the manufacturer before taking any risks.

Each specific model may also require more or less additional power connectors. They usually indicate it clearly so do not worry, you just need to check the card specifications before buying it.

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